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Allen & Overy advises MP & Silva on majority stake sale


Allen & Overy has advised leading international sports media company MP & Silva and its shareholders on a strategic partnership with Everbright, a financial services company in China, and Beijing Baofeng Technology, an internet entertainment and technology company listed in China’s A-share market.   

The partnership involves the sale by the existing shareholders of MP & Silva of a 65% equity stake in the company.  All of the existing MP & Silva shareholders will maintain a significant role in the company following the transaction, in addition to continuing to hold an aggregate equity stake of 35%. 

The transaction forms part of a trend by Chinese companies to invest into sports and entertainment assets, including media and rights companies as well as European sports teams.  Interest in European assets by Chinese investors more generally is underpinned by the Chinese governments focus on diversification of Chinese business interests.  Big brands and TMT companies are particularly attractive targets, presenting an opportunity to shift consumer markets and expertise back to China. 

Andrew Ballheimer, lead partner on this transaction comments: The fact that MP & Silva has attracted this level of international investment shows how focused the management team has been on growing an expansive, yet sustainable, company primed for future growth. 

Were seeing a lot of outbound investment by Chinese companies into Europe, especially in the TMT sector, which made now the perfect time for MP & Silva to take advantage of that interest to create this partnership, he added.   

The A&O team is being led by managing partner Andrew Ballheimer with assistance from senior associate Matthew Appleton and associates Tom Jokelson and Hayley Elsley.  In Luxembourg, the A&O team is being led by Corporate partner Peter Myners with assistance from associate Victoria Woestmann.  Antitrust partner Alasdair Balfour advised on competition matters. 

The deal adds to the significant number of TMT transactions that Allen & Overy has acted on, including advising: 

  • Nasmyth family on its exit from Argus Media, the global energy and commodity price reporting agency.
  • Facebook on the acquisition of Masquerade Technologies, a Belarusian start-up providing imaging technology for video
  • Exponent Private Equity on its simultaneous acquisitions of Wowcher from the Daily Mail and General Trust and the UK and Irish operating companies of the LivingSocial business from LivingSocial, Inc.
  • 21st Century Fox on its joint venture with Apollo to combine Endemol, Shine and CORE Media to create a global TV production company
  • Activision Blizzard on its USD5.9bn acquisition of King Digital Entertainment, the group behind Candy Crush Saga mobile games 

For further information, please contact Lauren Fragapane, at +44 (0)20 3088 3141.




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